One thing to understand, is that, I know hackers who are political activists, political activists who are goths, goths who are hedonists, hedonists who are involved in S&M, S&M practictitioners who are fascinated by vampires, vampire-enthusiasts who are cross-dressers, ...
Generally speaking, people who are part of one fringe group are more like to be part of others, because -all- fringe groups have in common the ability to be free-thinking enough to choose non-mainstream behaviour you feel is right, rather than conforming to feel 'comfortable' within society.
Nonetheless, I don't think I've ever known anyone that fit into -all- those categories, nor do I think that many, if any, people that the reporter saw did... but it sounds more colorful to list all those attributes together rather than to say, 'A bunch of people there to listen to dance to goth music, some of whom dressed in the goth style, others of whom cross dressed, and others of whom were dressed in comfortable clubbing clothes... ' and the gods forbid that it be mentioned that many hackers don't go out to any kind of nightclubs, fringe or otherwise...
I'm starting to run on here, but I wanted to point out that while the author -was- being sensationalist it is -also- true that there is some correlation between 'fringe' groups and 'hackers' ... because, like it or not, hackers, political-activists, and others, -are- fringe groups; also, when mixing political-activism into the groups someone is a member of, the number of fringe-groups associated with quickly grows... because nearly -every- fringe group is concerned with defending its right to exist, from neo-nazis to cypherpunks to homosexuals to supporters of 3rd party candidates to people who like to reverse engineer tech ... freedom of speech and right to privacy tend to be issues common to every fringe group, with the possible exception of the 'religious right' who simply have yet to be the victims of any serious persecution of their rights.
And, FWIW, I'm not particularly impressed with their sample 'hactivist' either, but then... have you ever seen a side by side comparison of raw and edited interview material? I'm not going to judge him on this snippet of a column!